The Bonfire of the Vanities author Tom Wolfe dies aged 87

18 May, 2018, 15:18 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Author and Richmond native Tom Wolfe dies at 87 - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

He was known as a pioneer of a literary style in nonfiction that became known as New Journalism. Wolfe himself coined the term in 1973 when he published a book of articles called The New Journalism, featuring the likes of Truman Capote, Joan Didion and Gay Talese, who penned the famous literary-style profile "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold".

The prolific author was known for both his fiction and nonfiction works.

Wolfe's other big-screen adaptation, the 1990 comedy The Bonfire of the Vanities, was based on his 1987 novel about amorality and excess in 1980s New York City.

In his space-race classic The Right Stuff - the American Book Award victor - he combined the emotional impact of a novel with the factual foundation of hard reporting.


"I started working on newspapers as soon as I left school - graduate school, actually". He first came to wide notice with the 1968 novel The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, an account of counterculture icon Ken Kesey and friends, aka the Merry Pranksters, traveling the country in their painted bus and the adventures they experienced.

In 2016, Wolfe told CBS News that he had five more books planned.

Wolfe was a writer whose gifts extended into every permutation of the written form: he was adept at mixing genres and techniques with traditional journalism, bulldozing over staid ideas about objectivity to influence a generation of writers. As William F. Buckley, Jr. famously said of him: "He is probably the most skillful writer in America- I mean by that he can do more things with words than anyone else".

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